Parker backs players to keep focus

27 March 2012 08:47

Scott Parker believes the players of Tottenham and Bolton will be in the right frame of mind to put on a cracking FA Cup tie tonight as White Hart Lane hosts the rescheduled quarter-final clash that had to be abandoned 10 days ago following Fabrice Muamba's horrifying cardiac arrest.

Many fans and players at the north London ground feared the worst when Muamba was carried off the pitch on a stretcher and rushed to hospital, but the Bolton midfielder is now eating and speaking and also got out of bed for the first time yesterday.

Asked if the players were in the right frame of mind for the game, Parker said: "I think so. Fabrice's recovery has probably helped us a lot and I'm sure it's helped Bolton as well. Obviously it was a little bit tricky after what happened but I think the lads are fine now because we hear Fabrice is doing pretty well, which is pleasing."

While Parker has been pleased with Muamba's progress, he also knows his team-mates must not lose sight of what is at stake against the Trotters.

"It's a big prize and we would like a trip to Wembley and not just for the semi-final, we'd like to go to the final so we are looking forward to it," the midfielder said.

Spurs are without a win in their last five Barclays Premier League matches, but they were unlucky not to come away with their first victory since February 11 on Saturday when they drew 0-0 at rivals Chelsea - the team who they will face in the semi-finals if they win tonight.

Saturday's result leaves Redknapp's team five points ahead of the Blues in fourth, with eight matches of the season remaining and Parker hopes the result can give the team a boost.

The England captain added: "It gives us a lift. It's obviously a big game for us on Tuesday and our confidence is good after Saturday's result so we will look to go into that and win that."

Redknapp said following Saturday's derby that he intends to "freshen up" his team for the visit of Bolton, which means the likes of Carlo Cudicini, Ryan Nelsen, Jermain Defoe and Danny Rose could all start for Spurs.

Winger Aaron Lennon has trained all weekend as he attempts to overcome the hamstring injury which has sidelined him for the last three weeks and could feature. Captain Ledley King, who was rested on Saturday, may also start.

Source: PA